By Erica Palmer
The talent and creativity of Utah County residents is limitless. Here are five locally founded and created businesses that brighten Utah Valley.
Knot your ordinary tie
Quinn Peterson grew up shopping in thrift stores and learned to sew to get better-fitting clothes for his skinny teenaged self. The necessity soon turned into a passion that has become his career. Quinn personally picks out the fabric for each of his QP Collections ties, which are handmade in Utah Valley by a sewing team headed by his sister. He uses materials like vintage tablecloths, custom-designed watercolor patterns, or pieces he picks up in New York or Japan. Quinn says all his creations, from ties to hats to leather wallets, are pieces he himself would use on a daily basis. “I want to stay true to my own aesthetic,” he says.
BYU student Matt Alexander sought to address the “highly overlooked pain point” of nighttime bathroom excursions with his invention of the IllumiBowl. The motion-activated toilet bowl night light mounts on the rim of any toilet, basking the porcelain throne in a night-time friendly, multicolored glow. The unconventional bathroom invention has gone viral since its funding on Kickstarter, and Matt says they plan to expand the product from online sales to retail stores.
Update: Illumibowl founder Matt Alexander and his brother-in-law Michael Kannely made an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank on March 11 where they scored a $100,000 investment from Kevin O’Leary for 25 percent of the business. The same week, the previously online-only product officially hit the shelves at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Clothing may be cause for contention for sisters who grow up close in age, but not for Kaitlynn Kesler and Haley van Overbeek. The sisters started their Orem-based online clothing boutique, Framed in Jade, to sell pieces the sisters would wear themselves — which means they not only have to be unique and trendy, they also have to cover the thighs and shoulders.
Jeff Palmer started ScentSationals Wickless Candles with a makeshift wax factory in his garage. Business lit up and they can now be found in retail stores across the United States. The warmers range from classic ceramic to contemporary metal and glass — and with dozens of scents, users can change the fragrance cubes at their fancy. For discounts (and free smells), Utah Valley dwellers can visit the factory outlet at the company’s Provo headquarters.
Comfy and cute. These are the words Salem mom Kambri Randolph had in mind when she started her line of baby leggings. Named after her 7-month-old son William, her willybeanco baby pants are made with organic fabric and lots of love. “I make everything myself in my home while my little guy is napping,” she says. “He is the inspiration of my company and everything I do.”